Strozzi, more than any other artist affected by Flemish art, seems to have become a legend in his lifetime as the epitome of natural talent. After ten years in a Capuchin monastery in his home town of Genoa he was given leave in 1608 to look after his mother. After she died he spent the last eleven years of his life in Venice, where he was greatly admired, as a fugitive from his order. Despite the extravagance of the thickly applied paint, the Berlin picture, with the half-length format so favoured by the painter, gives a good impression of his masterly handling of materials and colour. The lively line of the very broad brush can be traced everywhere. In order to create special effects, the ground was worked while it was still wet, and this is evident not least in the cords of the doublet. The virtuoso tendency towards the abstract reaches its climax in the servant-girl’s neckline: scarcely any form, just layers of glowing colour. Salome is grabbing hold of a lock of John the Baptist’s hair almost mischievously. Her lively face with Strozzi’s typically rosy cheeks shows scarcely any sense of horror.